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How Does Self-Cleaning Glass Work? The Answer Revealed

Tuesday 1st September, 2015

If you want to keep your windows looking shiny and new but you don’t want to spend hours cleaning them, self cleaning glass could be the answer. This revolutionary technology has helped many home owners save a fortune. No more paying for window cleaners; simply fit self cleaning glass and watch in wonder as they remain sparkling clean all year round. The question is how does self cleaning glass work?

Understanding self cleaning glass
There are two ways you can give glass a self cleaning property. The first is via a hydrophobic method and the second most popular method is via hydrophilic. The latter is more popular because it works in two ways. Firstly it uses rain water to wash away the dirt on the windows. It also has the ability to chemically break down the dirt whenever there’s sunlight. As the glass mainly relies upon rain to clean itself that makes it perfect for UK homes where rain is a common occurrence.

Hydrophilic coatings are typically based around titanium dioxide. The outside layer of the glass is coated with it and it works in two ways. Firstly when the sunlight hits the coating, it starts to produce what is known as electrons and holes. They work their way towards the surface of the glass and they trigger an oxidation process. This eliminates any organic material on the glass. It converts the dirt into water and carbon dioxide.

Does it clean everything?
The thing to remember when asking ‘how does self cleaning glass work?’ is that it will only remove organic materials. If your windows come into contact with non-organic materials then they may not clean themselves properly. An example of this would be if you live on the seafront. Any salt spray that goes onto your windows would prove a struggle for the glass to remove. 

Will it work straight away?
When you have self cleaning glass installed in the home, it can take around 12-48 hours to start working. This is because it needs to build up its defences in natural sunlight. Once it has started the oxidation process, all that’s needed is rain to wash it all away. As soon as it does rain, a sheet of water is created and the dirt gets automatically washed off the windows.

Where can this glass be installed?
The great thing about self cleaning glass is the fact it can be installed anywhere. From standard windows and doors to glass balustrades and worktops; wherever there is glass in the home, a self cleaning coating can be applied. It’s also particularly great for installing in conservatories.

Overall self cleaning glass can be an ideal addition to any home. It is cost effective in the long run as you don’t have to pay anybody to come and clean the windows. You’ll also be left with sparkling results after a maximum of 48 hours. The next time you’re shopping for glass for the home, why not consider a self cleaning option?

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